Thursday, April 30, 2009

Udine Far East Film Fest Rocks!

Currently missing the fab Udine Dar East Film Fest in Udine, Italy which started on April 24th and ends on May 2nd. I was lucky enough to attend for around three or four years in a row from 2001, but other travel has conflicted with attending the last few editions. Now in its 11th edition, the fest focuses on trends in Asian cinema and selects films that are missed or ignored by more popular "art" film fests.

''These are the most popular, commercial pictures coming out of Asia right now,'' said festival organizer Sabrina Baracetti, who explained that while Asian films d'auteur enjoy growing popularity at international film festivals, Udine focuses on the films that fill the theaters.

This year they have been screening 56 titles from 9 Far East countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore) and have over 35 guests. This year's retrospective is dedicated to Hong Kong director Ann Hui with over 10 hours of her TV works from the 70’s, never seen in the West before.

Luckily, we have the eyes and ears of Frederic Ambroisine who is there and is documenting EVERYTHING! Fred has provided lots of video for DVD extras and in the future, we will be so very glad that he was there in the moment to capture these events for posterity. Here are some of the recent selections from his blog over on, an online community dedicated to helping artists. The complete list of films going on at the fest is here.

13 TV films directed by Ann Hui between 1976 and 1978, for TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited), ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) and RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) - were presented at the Far East Film Festival from April 25th to April 28th, and now it’s over.

Yesterday evening, a few hours before the presentation of “The Beast Stalker” (amazing full house screening), Nick Cheung and Dante Lam talked at the Far East Film panel...

I Interviewed "Ong Bak 2" director Panna Rittikrai and producer Prachya Pinkaew a few hours ago at the FEFF. They'll talk tomorrow afternoon at a seminar organised by the festival, about Thai action films...

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 8:19AM / News / Asian Cinema
Korean director Kim Jee-woon arrived yesterday (April 28th) at the Far East Film Festival.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Edgar Wright intros J Chan's POLICE STORY at The Bloor Cinema

On April 5th, as part of the fab Wright Stuff series at Toronto's Bloor Cinema, director Edgar Wright presented a 35mm print of Jackie Chan's POLICE STORY followed by the US version of DRUNKEN MASTER 2 aka LEGEND OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER. I had not seen that projected in years, but each time I has seen it previously, it was the Chinatown HK print and was shocked to see this verion with all the Wong Fei Hong theme music stripped out of it. A travesty!

Edgar is currently in town shooting SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel and had been presenting cool flicks on 35mm for the past few Sundays. I was able to add to the experience by including in the evening's show a number of my rare 35mm trailers including FIST OF FEAR, TOUCH OF DEATH, BREAKIN', ZEN KWAN DO STRIKES IN PARIS, and in Shaw-Scope - THE SUPREME SWORDSMAN and RETURN TO THE 36TH CHAMBER!

Here is Edgar's introduction for POLICE STORYcaught from the first row of the cinema. Sorry for the craptastic sound quality. Big thanks to Edgar for being the real deal - a dedicated lover of fantastic film.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


LOVE THIS STILL! Found over at the Shaolin Slums.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

tee-shirts of fury!

One of my favourite stores in Hong Kong is G.O.D. aka Goods of Design, a place with so much nifty homewares, clothes, books and more that I just want to buy one of everything from the store and fill a shipping container so I can redo my apartment in Toronto. Oh well, just guess I'll have to wait til I become a mogul. Went by there on my first full day in HK and my jaw dropped at these t-shirts of the characters from the early Jademan comics.

I grabbed the package which was on sale and now have a swanky tote bag, key chain, note book and tee!

I had posted some of the grisly covers of these comic before on the blog, but I linked directly to them on another site which has now long gone. Wild wild stuff. And the film with Donnie Yen pales in comparison. I will have to scan some of the pages from the ones I have as the style in late 70s and early 80s is so graphically bold and kinetic, vastly different from the airbrushed style found in the comics today.

(the above images came from:

For more information, check out Siuyi Wong's fabulous reference book, Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. Here are some pics of some of the older covers.